01 February, 2006

Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ

I have just completed a book review on Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ (c.1681) by John Bunyan. What a lovely and pastoral book. This book is based on this text in John: All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. -John 6.37 AV Bunyan gives comfort as well as exhortation to both believers as well as unbelievers in this book. I would recommend this book to be given to one that is struggling with assurance of faith, or one who has back slidden and feels as though they are unable to come back to Christ. Bunyan shows the truth of the Gospel in bidding sinners- Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ.

"For there had not been a proneness in us to fear ‘casting out’ Christ would not have needed, as it were, to waylay our fear, as he does by this great and strange expression, ‘In no wise;’ ‘And he that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.’...For this word, ‘in no wise’, cuts the throat of all objections; and it was dropped by the Lord Jesus with that very purpose and to help the faith that is mixed with unbelief." (p149-150).

"The person speaking in the text (John 6.37) is he alone by whom poor sinners have entrance to and acceptance with the Father, because of the glory of his righteousness, by and in which he presents them amiable and spotless in his sight. Neither is there any way besides him so to come to the Father: ‘I am the way,’ he says, ‘the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me’ (John 14.6). All other ways to God are dead and damnable ; the destroying cherubim stand with flaming swords, turning every way to keep all others from his presence (Gen. 3.24). I say, all others but them that come by him. ‘I am the door; by me,’ he says, ‘if any man enter in, he shall be saved’ (John 10.9)". (p69-70)

"Sinner do you hear? You have it freely. Let him take the water of life freely. I will give him of the fountain of life freely. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both’ (Luke 7.42). Freely, without money and without price. ‘Ho! Everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come buy wine and buy milk without money and without price’ (Is.55.1). Sinner, are you thirsty? Are you weary? Are you willing? Come then and regard not your stuff; for all the good that is in Christ is offered to the coming sinner, without money and without price. He has life to give away to such as want it, and that has not a penny to purchase it; and he will give it freely. O what a blessed condition is the coming sinner in!". (p196)

13 comments:

Classical Presbyterian said...

It's really great spiritual advice, but the problem with so many modern Christians who have been fed on a diet of easy-believism and cheap grace, is that they don't even know that they can be in spiritual danger!

The Presbyterians that I often hang out with (you know--those liberal PCUSA types!) have no concept of the dangers of the false idea that sanctification can be neglected or that sin does not matter to God.

Needed advice for us all..

Droll Flood said...

"I would recommend this book to be given to one that is struggling with assurance of faith, or one who has back slidden and feels as though they are unable to come back to Christ."
For those whom are seeking assurance in Christ and are looking to improve on there knowledge on assurance, then fine. Look to Christ, believe what He says.

"...or one who has back slidden and feels as though they are unable to come back to Christ."
For those that are in this situation, Christ says repent and freely come unto Me. For those who come to Him, HE WILL NOT TURN THEM AWAY. If you don't trust Him, you doubt His words which shows the very problem: unbelief. There is no merit or piety to having the 'experience' of feeling as though they cannot come to Christ. To be listening and reasoning this way is not believing God at His word, i.e. unbelief.

Droll Flood said...

I have heard some interesting things about Bunyan via Sinclair Ferguson from Spurgeon. I haven't read any of Bunyan, so I'm not really at liberty to comment on him. However if those things were true what Ferguson said, the problem Bunyan had was the very nature of the problem I dealt with in my last comment.

paul said...

Nate, do you not see the Arminian heresy that Bunyan is promoting? Do you not see how he promotes self-righteousness and voluntary humility?

Nate, you said, "Bunyan gives comfort as well as exhortation to both believers as well as unbelievers in this book." Do you believe that God's Word gives comfort to unbelievers?

Nate, you said, "I would recommend this book to be given to one that is struggling with assurance of faith..." Do you believe that some Christians do not have assurance of faith?

Nate said...

The word of God gives comfort to unbelievers in that they can have comfort when they repent and believe the gospel. This is comfort for a sinner who can flee to Christ for the remission of sins. This was my comfort as I came to Christ.

As far as Christians lacking assurance. Yes, some Christians lack assurance. I do not need you to show me all the stuff on your website though about the heresy of Presbyterians, etc. I know what you believe.

As far as self righteous and arminian. You can call it that. I call it the free offer of the gospel. I have also read what your group thinks of that, so no need to post about it.

I believe...help thou my unbelief. That is a cry for assurance to the Lord who grants it.

paul said...

Point taken. No need for discussion.

TM said...

Dear Flood,
I understand what you are concerned about, but read Bunyan before you drop a comment like that. Bunyan is not a hyper calvinist. To simply asociate doubt or weak faith with a spiritual pride in doubt or weak faith is a logical fallacy.

Nate said...

It is interesting how on one side there is one crying "hypercalvinist" and there is one on the other side calling "arminian".

Bunyan may have his problems (and I agree that he does such as sacramentology and ecclessiology) but the soteriology that is presented here is so refreshingly gospel!

Droll Flood said...

"However if those things were true what Ferguson said, the problem Bunyan had was the very nature of the problem I dealt with in my last comment."
- Voetsius,
Good to hear from you...
Notice the contingent "IF". I am only saying what I've been given in the subject at hand.

"To simply associate doubt or weak faith with a spiritual pride in doubt or weak faith is a logical fallacy."
...um...we distinguish between a recognition of one's need of sanctification and being consumed in one's sin and not looking to Christ for salvation and assurance. Hence 'Lord I believe, help me in my unbelief'. Also DO NOT DOUBT.
On what grounds would one be rightly doubting? What excuse do we have to doubt?
In the Scriptures I don't see this tension of "...or one who has back slidden and feels as though they are unable to come back to Christ" as being right minded. Sure, we affirm, that save for the EFFECTUAL
grace of Christ to make us to believe in Him, we wouldn't have one ounce of assurance of His reception of us, because we're still unbelieving.

"To simply associate doubt or weak faith with a spiritual pride in doubt or weak faith is a logical fallacy."
-Okay, then with what is it to be associated Voetsius? I really, ironically, 'doubt' you'll be able to come up with anything adequate. Belly button lint is not a valid arguement. :)
Even when Peter doubted in the walking on water account, Christ gently/pastorally reproved him, "Why did you doubt?"
What godly counsel (or comfort for you 3 forms of unity buffs), is there in doubt? When you're in the muck of despond the last thing you need is a pack of stuff on your back to hold you in there.
-Again, doubting is not piety. Sure, you ought to gently admonish one to look to Christ and not their feelings of inadequacy. Look to Christ and His work (effectual mind you) for assurance and repent of doubting His word.
"...feels as though they are unable to come back to Christ"
On what right grounds would they be doing this?
This above cited mentality is getting your eyes off of Christ and indicative of the problem at hand: not looking to Christ but to one's feelings. Who calls/dictates the nature of reality? Man and his feelings (or navel), or God? To whom do you listen? If Christ is calling you to trust on Him and what He says, will you say, "I'm back slidden and feel as though I'm unable to come back to Christ."
Give me a stinkin' break!
Go to Christ,wholly trusting in Him and what He says, and in fact that person who does this is evidencing the fact of his salvation and Christ having died for Him by believing on Him! Those who don't listen to God aren't persevering! Hello?!

Arminianism (legalism) and HyperCalvinism (antinomianism) are two sides of the same coin: unbelief. They are not opposites of each other. They are both opposites of the Gospel.

Droll Flood said...

"Arminianism (legalism) and HyperCalvinism (antinomianism) are two sides of the same coin: unbelief."
By the way, these things aren't mutually exclusive of one another, which I'm sure, Voetsius you know EXPERIENTIALLY, but that experience being described and governed by His word, not our navel lint or feelings.

Ellie said...

My Head is spinning... Can someone sum up what you guys are getting at in simple language?
As a Christian I am Walking By Faith!I believe in and receive Salvation because of Faith.As I journey through life I desire to have greater Faith.Faith aids my connection to God.I'm not sure what weak faith is. For me, last years faith was weaker than this years.My relationship and connections with God are improved.

Nate said...

Ellie

Cut and paste the link below. It will help in defining some of these terms.

As far as weak faith goes it is when one is a Christian but is often plaqued by doubts. Many Christians have weak faith at time and you are right...the closer you become to God the stronger your faith grows. It grows by what we in Theology call "the means of grace" Some are: Listening to sermons, prayer, the sacraments, fellowship, reading the bible, reading Christian books, etc.

I hope that this helps. Remember that this site is never intended to be an elitist club for theologians. The attempt is to stay in the trenches of Christian warfare!


http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/topic/hypercalvinism.html

edwardseanist said...

Nate, what church are you a member of?